Tuesday, May 17, 2016

19th Hedda Gabler's Lessons for 21st Century Health Information Technology

It's the 17th of May, which means it's Norway's Constitution Day.  Sort of like July 4th.  Which reminds the Population Health Blog.....

If you are in D.C. in the coming weeks and have an interest in health information technology (HIT), you may want to check out the Studio Theatre production of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. 
The Population Health Blog explains.

In the two and a half hour production, Hedda struggles to reconcile her human dysfunctions with the rigid etiquette of an aristocratic age. As her dilemmas unfold, her academic husband George delights in analyzing societal trends while being unable to see the disaster unfolding in his own home. George ironically delights in knowing more, but is aware of less and less. 
There's far more to the play, but what can this 19th century masterpiece teach about HIT?

While Hedda has her issues, she's still being victimized by a complex set of external social determinants.  The PHB suspects playwright Ibsen was intrigued by the impact of rigid social norms in late 19th century Europe.  His play examines their implications for otherwise smart people who can't and/or refuse to adapt. 

Is Hedda's resistance to be reviled, or admired?

Sound familiar?  Instead of a mansion decorated with dying bouquets, we have hospitals filled with the fading economics of piecemeal work. Physicians are working harder than ever to help their patients, but a new technocracy is advancing a new set of expectations.  And the mainstream HIT Georges are so fascinated by making meaningful use meaningful, they are likewise unable to see the forest past all the trees. 

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